Become an ocean hero

Lesson overview

This lesson brings the unit together, with students learning from young ocean heroes, developing persuasive communications, and making their own pledges.

Learning outcomes
  • Review the relation between ocean and climate
  • Recognise the role of advocacy in ocean conservation
  • Use persuasive writing and speaking to convince others to protect oceans
  • Make pledges to become ocean heroes

There are two galleries to use during the lesson. The first gallery walk is for students to review their learning over the course of the unit. It may be useful to have these stuck up around the classroom before the lesson starts. The second gallery is to help students choose their focus for their ocean pledge. These can be placed on desks around the classroom or on the walls as appropriate.

Lesson steps

1. Introduction and review (10 mins)

Use slides 2 to 5 to recap the unit in advance of students working on their ocean pledges and ideas, then introduce the learning objectives to the class.

Show slide 8 and inform students that this is a chance to review all of the learning from the unit. Emphasise that after they have had 5 minutes to view all the different slides put up around the classroom, there will be a whole class discussion based around the two questions on slide 8. Depending on the class, these questions could also be answered in a book, and extended by asking students to give reasons for their answers.

2. Young ocean heroes (10 mins)

This section focuses on the work of three young ocean advocates: Brigitta Gunawan, Annabel Kemp, and Josh Symes. A Student Sheet has been prepared about each of them. Divide the class into three groups (or six depending on size) and hand out a different sheet to each group.

Ask students to reflect on the four questions on slide 11. Give students six minutes to read through about their ocean hero, and then have them present highlighting key points from their discussion.

After each group has spoken, consider broadening out to a whole class discussion based around the following topics:

  • Common themes among the Ocean Heroes (e.g., passion, determination, curiosity)
  • The importance of individual actions in making a positive impact on the environment
  • How students can apply lessons learned from the Ocean Heroes in their own lives

As you review the answers, remind students that age is not a barrier to making a difference.

3. Power of persuasion (10 mins)

Persuasive communication is a really important skill in driving positive environmental change. Go through some useful techniques including emotive language, comparison, and repetition. This can be done using slides 14 to 16 or using the same information on the Student Sheet Ocean heroes learning how to persuade.

For each type of persuasive writing, you could also ask students to come up with other examples. Slides 17 to 20 and the second page of the Student Sheet give some examples of famous ocean conservation quotes that use these techniques.

Use the questions at the end of the Student Sheet or on slide 21 to guide a whole class discussion, small group work, or individual written answers.

4. Ocean hero pledges (20 mins)

In this section students working individually or in groups will start to the work on their ocean hero pledges. So that students can choose a project that they are interested in, place the six options from the Ocean pledge gallery around the classroom. Students can then walk around and choose the topic that interests them the most.

As students probably won’t divide themselves equally between the choices, there will need to be some judgement in establishing group sizes and who works with whom.

Hand out a copy of the Student Sheet Ocean hero plan to each group or student as applicable. Students or groups should then take the remaining time in this section to develop their plans.

5. Review, feedback and next steps (10 mins)

Allow time for students to share their action plans with the class, either verbally or by displaying them around the room. Encourage feedback, questions, and constructive suggestions among classmates.

As a follow-up, consider providing opportunities for students to share their advocacy messages with a wider audience, such as creating posters or presentations for other classes, or even starting a school-wide campaign related to their chosen issues.

Hand out Ocean hero certificates to students to celebrate the first steps on their journey to protect the ocean.